Saturday, May 16, 2015

Homage to Margaret Keane Margaret and Her Children Original Oil Painting by k Madison Moore

( click on this photo for closer view)

Margaret and Her Children

Homage to Margaret Keane - Big Eyes Artist


Painting with The Masters Series

14 x 18 Big Eyes Oil Painting on Canvas


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I used to see these Big Eyes paintings all the time growing up. I thought they were so cute. I even did some sketches years ago of my own Big Eyes Kids and never did anything with them. I had no idea who the artist was or the story behind it until recently when the movie Big Eyes was advertised and released. I really enjoyed the movie.

Margaret stated that “giving away her paintings made her feel like she was losing a child." Of course I thought this would be a good theme for a composition. Being that she is alive and because of her bio, I felt I didn’t want to come too close to her children. 

Margaret spent years hidden in the attic of their home knocking out hundreds of paintings. She even hid it from her daughter. Most of her paintings were designed around her daughter as she had no other model. Yet, her daughter had no idea her mother was the artist. Margarette felt very guilty that she lied to her daughter and this was also a force for her to tell the world the truth.

So this is a homage to Margaret who’s portrait sits on the easel and she is surrounded by her children in the attic where she paints.  These are “My” Big Eyes kids and not hers. I had to make my eyes so different. The eyes of her children kind of freaks me out. I think it’s is how big she makes the pupils. I believe Tim Burton used some of her works for some of his scary movies. All in all, still cute.

It was a fun painting but I really challenged myself with so many faces and soooo many eyes! Took a very long time to complete.

Margaret and Her Children

Here's a Link to The Movie

Margaret Kean today

Margaret D. H. Keane (born Peggy Doris Hawkins; September 15, 1927) is an American artist who mainly paints women, children, and animals with big eyes in oil or mixed media.

Her ex-husband Walter Keane used to sell her paintings signed with his name; she allowed him to do so because he used to sell every piece.  Women artists at that time were not noticed or respected. 

They became millionaires and lived a lavish lifestyle. Walter would sell Margarette’s paintings for up to $50,000 per painting.

Margaret grew tired of hiding that fact that she was the true artist. She went as far as to attempt to change her style just so she could show her work. She eventually  had it an sued Walter for a divorce and for slander.

Keane's works are recognizable by the oversize, doe-like eyes of her subjects.
In the 1960s, her artwork was sold under the name of her husband, Walter Keane 
who claimed credit for it.

In 1970, Keane announced to the world, via radio broadcast, that she was the true creator of the paintings.

 Margaret Keane sued Walter in the subsequent slander suit; the judge demanded that the litigants paint a painting in the courtroom, but Walter declined, citing a sore shoulder. Margaret then produced a painting in 53 minutes. The jury awarded her damages of $4 million.

On November 1, 1964, she left him and moved from San Francisco to Hawaii, where she met Honolulu sports writer Dan McGuire. She divorced Keane in 1965 and married McGuire in 1970. After she moved to Hawaii and became one of  Jehovah’s Witness, , her work took on a happier, brighter style. Keane's website now advertises her work as having "tears of joy" or "tears of happiness"

Actresses  Joan Crawford and Natalie Wood commissioned Keane to paint their portraits. In the 1990s, Tim Burton, a Keane artwork collector and later director of the film  Big Eyes (about Keane), commissioned the artist to paint a portrait of his then-girlfriend Lisa Marie.

As of 2015, Keane lives in Napa County, California. She is 92 years old and still paints every day.Such an inspiration.


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